Just got myself in a total tailspin and it’s a good example of what my brain sometimes does to me. I don’t think I’d label this anything beyond Being a Bag of Nerves in much the same vein as my mother. Sometimes I’ll pick up the phone when she calls and she’ll exclaim “oh, thank GOD, there you are” because she’s done exactly what I do too. She’ll randomly note she hasn’t heard from me in perhaps longer than is usually the case. But instead of pinging me a text or calling me at the time she realises it’s been a while, she’ll instead fret like crazy and cook up various scenarios in her mind, including me having died a terrible death in some horrifying accident. This is precisely what I did this morning.
Hubby and I normally text each other several times over the course of the day, and his texts are like clockwork. He texts from the car when he stops at a traffic light somewhere on his way to work. Then he texts again to say he got to work. These are his clockwork, set in stone, routine morning text messages. Today I get the first as usual but not the second. It approaches lunchtime and I check Whatsapp. Nope, he’s not been “seen” since his first on-his-way-to-work text. I send him another I-love-you and follow up with a heart. Then I e-mail him on his work e-mail. Five minutes later and I e-mail again asking for a sign of life. By this stage, I have graphic images whirling through my mind of a crash on the motorway involving 20 cars and an overturned lorry carrying combustible materials. Then he calls back and AS USUAL he has been in back-to-back meetings and my heart rate has rocketed for no good reason whatsoever. I do this if I can’t immediately get hold of Bambino too – even though there is no reason to believe anything sinister has happened, in my mind there are scenarios served up that would terrify Stephen King himself.
Like mother, like daughter. We are worriers.
Alcohol or no alcohol, this is just the way I’m wired and although booze makes anything and everything a thousand times worse, this is something that just happens when I’m sober too. My mother very rarely drinks and when she does it’s a small glass of wine that she doesn’t even finish. And I seem to have in this sense grown up to be just like her. I mean, for God’s sake, of all the things I could have inherited: she is sweet, kind, gentle, loving, wise, strong, clever and every other lovely adjective I can think of. She is also as beautiful as a summer’s eve by Lake Fryken. Mum is an all round much nicer, slimmer and generally better version of me who can cook. In this sea of fantastic traits to inherit, I get her nerves. If I could have at least got her feet – they’re proper lady feet, perfectly shaped and perfectly sized at the end of her long legs and beautiful ankles. I don’t even have ankles – I have bloody CANKLES, the sort of bullshit where your calves just go straight to your feet. And my feet are what Tolkien visualised when he imagined the hobbits. But I got her nerves. Thanks.
Why is this relevant on this blog where I try to focus on sobriety and recovery? Well, it goes back to how I think it’s important to remember that getting sober doesn’t magically turn us into perfect super versions of ourselves. I mean, I couldn’t even begin to list all the amazing ways in which my life has become richer with sobriety. It is 100% true that getting sober has meant that life is fucking magnificent! What sobriety doesn’t change, however, is who I essentially am. I’m still me. It’s just that I’m awake, alert, clear and able to be the best I can be. It doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly challenge Paula Radcliffe in the next London marathon, but it does mean I can go for a jog and find I managed to wobble my way around the park without having to stop and walk. What I’m trying to say is that getting sober is one thing (and don’t get me wrong – it’s a FANTASTIC thing!) but accepting who we are is another and sometimes that’s much harder. Still, it’s a positive thing as whatever flaws, shortcomings and weaknesses I have in my baggage, it’s so much easier to carry it all around when I’m at my best.
Today I’m not going to drink.